An overview of folklore, religion and popular intuition surrounding childbirth, pregnant women, and young infants: abortion by aswang, blood-drinking Lilith, curses from witches, skeletal-faced spirits, and demonic births. content advisory: infant mortality [more inside]
When the Bough Breaks. "Children often can’t tell detectives what happened to them. But their injuries always tell a story. The essence of a child abuse investigation is determining the plausibility of an adult’s story, given the child’s condition. Could the child have sustained the injuries by falling off a bed, tumbling down stairs, or any number of accidents that parents routinely describe? Or does the story fail to account for the injuries?" A profile of Sergeant Brenda Nichols, the head of the Dallas Police Department’s Child Abuse Squad, and one of her cases. (SFW, but the article contains graphic descriptions of child abuse that some readers may find disturbing.)
Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
Noted anti-vaccination activist Jenny McCarthy is going to replace Elizabeth Hasselbeck as The View's newest panelist. So, now, she can take her anti-vaccine roadshow to the masses. Even though she admitted that her son never had autism. A Slate columnist is even trying to petition The View to not hire Ms. McCarthy.
Going through my parents' stuff didn't make me suddenly miss them, but I became more intrigued by them every day. I wanted to know more and more about them, to solve their mysteries. At the same time, I felt a corresponding, if conflicting, urge to speak, or write, about what many people seemed to think was unspeakable: my ever-present lack of grief. So I decided to combine these seemingly divergent impulses into an Tumblr blog called My Dead Parents, which I kept anonymous both out of respect for my family and because, after years of writing fiction, I wasn't sure if I could handle revealing so much about myself in writing.Anya Yurchyshyn writes about rediscovering her parents through their letters, after their deaths.
"There are no national standards or regulations regarding forensic pathology and practices vary widely from place to place."
The Hardest Cases: When Children Die, Justice Can Be Elusive A joint investigation by PBS Frontline, ProPublica and NPR has found that medical examiners and coroners have repeatedly mishandled cases of infant and child deaths, helping to put innocent people behind bars. (Via. (Article contains descriptions of children that have been killed by abuse. May be disturbing / triggering to some readers.) [more inside]
Deep Grief: Creating Meaning From Mourning (Article from NPR.) How some parents have channeled their grief over the loss of their children into memorial efforts that provide for others. [more inside]
Kathe Kollwitz, printmaker and sculptor, on The Peasants War (historical background, prints), war and death, mothers and children, herself and the death of her son Peter in WWI.
"A paper around her neck said she was Ida, but Ida said nothing at all." So tells the story of the saddest, unluckiest girl that ever lived. [more inside]
Little Jesse Koochin remains hooked up to a ventilator at Primary Children's Medical Center, oblivious to the controversy that has erupted around him. Doctors at the Salt Lake City hospital pronounced the 6-year-old cancer patient brain-dead this week and want to remove life support. Jesse's parents, Steve and Gayle Koochin, insist their youngest child is alive and believe they can bring him back to health with alternative medicine. Hospital officials maintain the boy is dead and has begun decomposing.
Remember Brendan Thompson, the little boy with terminal cancer whose neighborhood put together an early Halloween so he could trick-or-treat? Well, he lost his battle on Thursday morning, but it sounds like his last month was a good one. (scroll to second story)
Another child-bakes-in-car story, but this one is especially heartbreaking: single mother trying to keep her temp job has no child care for her developmentally disabled daughter and leaves her in the car out of desperation. Every summer there's a rash of these cases, with some eliciting more hatred and disgust than others. What gives -- the general decline of parenting/morals/personal responsibility, or should we get serious about child care in the land of "family values"? (Thanks to Jim Romenesko.)
Parents charged in death of girl forced to drink water - Forcing a 4 year old to consume large amounts of water seems like an odd way to promote family bonding. Death by over watering can happen, but this sounds more like an episode of Law & Order.
"When the Israeli army was asked to comment on the footage, it refused."
Death Row Marv lets kids play at being executioners.